Know thy opponent: South Florida


The College Network is still relatively new. was one of the first blogs, and the first Big East blog.

Later on in the summer, enter Green, Gold and Bold. Yes, it’s a South Florida blog. Matt is the Lead Blogger of the USF Blog, and he’s also the Big East coordinator for Fansided’s College Network. So far, he’s doing an excellent job on both fronts.

Last week, I approached him and asked if he wanted to do cross-promotional stuff for our blogs, and (after bribing him with beer) he agreed.

Anyway, without any further bull (no pun intended)… let’s see what Matt has to say about USF!

Jim ( With Skip Holtz at the helm in his first year at USF, what changes have you already seen, and what changes do you expect in the future?
Matt (Green, Gold and Bold): Skip Holtz has already made a bunch of changes since the moment he stepped on campus.  He is much more personable with the fans with appearances at basketball games, radio shows, and even tweeting on occasion.  He is changing the uniforms around, allowing players to pick, creating new entrances to the stadium, and bringing a new sense of pride around the campus.  He has a lot of work to do, the team is depleted with injuries, NFL departures, and he is still trying to put together his first recruiting class.  He has big long term goals and knows everything will take time and is trying to get everyone involved and on the same level.  He is a great addition to USF football and is already making a change around the area and the program.

Jim ( USF has given WVU fits in the past few years (06, 07, 09); and Lou Holtz has played against WVU the past few years as coach at ECU. How do you expect Coach Holtz to combine the two factors on Thursday?
Matt (Green, Gold and Bold):  USF always seems prepared for WVU.  We have the speed to match up with the personnel groupings of WVU and have been lucky in recent years with Pat White going down, Slaton being hurt, and just focusing everything on that game.  Holtz seems to prepare the team well and gets a great game plan together.  He was ready for UF, but turnovers doomed us there.  If we can control the ball, avoid turnovers, and follow the coaching plans, USF could pull it off here.

Jim ( What can be expected from QB BJ Daniels and RB Moise Plancher on Thursday?
Matt (Green, Gold and Bold): B.J. Daniels is struggling right now.  He is not comfortable in the new offense which calls for him to be more of a pocket passer and cut down on the running game.  Our two starting receivers are healthy, so if he makes his progressions in reading plays better, he will be able to find his targets, but he has to avoid interceptions (6 on the year so far).  He also needs to use his legs more and I would expect Fitch (offensive coordinator) will open it up for him a bit more.  Mo Plancher, the 6th year senior, is surprising everyone. He has a much better cut this year and is getting to the second level better than ever before.  He has always been consistent, but is finally matured into a solid runner.  Look for Demetris Murray and Marcus Shaw to get some carries as well and could cause problems on the outside for the WVU defense.

Jim ( USF is still a relatively young program… have there been any traditions that have developed, especially given USF’s string of successes since joining the Big East?
Matt (Green, Gold and Bold):  USF is a very young program still and rebuilding this year, but the fan base has been growing steadily.  The big wins over Auburn, WVU, and other top programs has increased interest and fan support is growing every year.  USF merchandise is everywhere, even out selling local professional teams.  The “beef studs” the guys and gals with Viking horns and painting up, there only use to be a couple dozen, now it seems the entire student section (largest in the Big East at 13,001) is painted up.  Holtz has brought a family feeling to the team and fan base with his radio shows and allowing the players to pick the uniforms for each game.  We even have the white smoke as the team runs out onto the field and each player is now forced to learn the school fight song.  Tradition is growing all the time on campus just as the team continues to grow as well.

Jim ( Given the wacky world of the Big East this season, as well as the future, how do you think USF and everyone else will fare when the season ends?
Matt (Green, Gold and Bold):  The Big East is a wide open race.  For this season, USF will struggle with the new coaches and lack of players, a 7-5 finish and a low bowl bid is what we are looking at and the league is WVU’s conference to lose this year, but there will be tons of upsets each week and my football knowledge will continue to be insulted each week. As for the future, the next two years for USF will be rebuilding years as Holtz continues to bring in his player and restock the talent, but they will still be fast and athletic (thank you Florida recruiting), they will certainly be a force to deal with for years to come.  The rest of the Big East is hard to guess, Edsall at UCONN runs a great program, Louisville and Syracuse are coming back it seems, Cincinnati is still around, Rutgers is a big question mark, and Pitt, well for your sakes, I won’t get into it.  The Big East may add a team or two, but no one knows for sure.

Jim ( Finally, Matt decided to take a “parting shot”, if you will…
Matt (Green, Gold and Bold): Thank you for allowing me to run my mouth on Hail WVU and of course, GO BULLS!

Thanks to Matt for doing this!